Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year. It is an initiative of Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that is changing the way the world measures and manages its natural resources.
Individuals have the power to better their homes and communities. The greatest potential for large-scale impact, however, lies with governments and businesses who align their policies and strategies with the reality of our finite planet.
Some of the many possible solutions:
Plant-based Meals. If we reduced global meat consumption by 50% and replaced these calories through a vegetarian diet, we would move Overshoot Day 17 days (including 10 days from reduction of methane emissions). If we cut food waste in half worldwide, we would move Overshoot Day 13 days. Every day, millions of students around the world eat meals in school canteens. The introduction of weekly plant-based meals in school canteens can thus be implemented globally, for the benefit of both students’ and the planet’s health.
Transportation. 70% to 80% of all people are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Smart city planning and urban development strategies are instrumental to making sure there is enough biological regeneration to avoid excessive human demand that would erode it. Personal mobility makes up 17% of humanity’s carbon Footprint. If we reduce our Footprint from driving by 50% around the world and assume 1/3 of car miles are replaced by public transportation and the rest by biking and walking, Earth Overshoot Day would move back 13 days.
Carbon Footprint. Over 150 years ago, the carbon Footprint of humanity was close to zero. If we want to limit the global temperature increase to below 2°C, the carbon Footprint would have to be zero again before 2050. Reducing the carbon component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 50% would move Earth Overshoot Day by 93 days, or more than three months. Existing off-the-shelf, commercial energy-efficiency technologies for buildings, industrial processes, and electricity production could move Overshoot Day at least 21 days, without any loss in productivity or comfort.
Planet. Classical conservation: efforts to protect and preserve wild spaces, particularly biodiversity hotspots. Restoration: many ecosystems have been overused and need to be restored. Regenerative agriculture and sustainable fishing: maintain soil-productivity, groundwater levels, water cycles, and genetic diversity, while avoiding contamination. Sustainable fishing supports overall ocean health, and helps ensure that the ocean continues to provide for generations to come. A healthy ocean absorbs 30% of our carbon emissions. Reforesting 350 million hectares of forest would move the date of Overshoot Day by 8 days.
The earlier companies, cities, and countries plan ahead and prepare themselves for the predictable future, the better their chance of thriving. How will you #MoveTheDate? (source: www.overshootday.org)
There are many possible solutions that can be adopted and combined for the best results. As individuals, we can choose the most eco-friendly products for our everyday life. Try our natural plastic free products, Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks!